Thursday, July 31, 2008

What's in your purse? What are you carrying around everyday?

That's the theme for the Ladies retreat on Saturday. We all have a purse full of unnecesary things and the idea is, we carry around spiritual and emotional junk too. I am learning first hand this week how much junk I carry around. I have had a bit of an attitude about the "tommorrow" and "oh well" attitude of mexican culture. The owner of the banquet room we were going to use cancelled on me this past week. Her reason? Family is coming into town and I want to be free and to use the room that day for a party. My guest speaker's husband decided to go on vacation starting yesterday so she is out of town. I think she went to Cabo San Lucas! Yeah jealousy rears its' ugly head!
Anyway, I had to spend some time on my knees this morning before I got on the bus to go pick up the craft for the retreat. Good thing cuz praising God put a new attitude in my heart. The bus driver was typical and the traffic horrendous and the store clerk was not so happy. In fact she spent half of the time complaining about Mexico etc... A part of me wanted to cheer her on yet a verse for the retreat kept coming to mind
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
So I just smiled and said, "But you have a job in a nice, clean, cool building. I'm a Christian. I believe that God loves you and wants the best for you. I believe that God gave you this job and if you really think it is so bad you could try praying and asking Him for a new job."
She stared at me and quietly said, "I am so ashamed. I am a Christian too. God has been showing me about a bad attitude but He had to send somebody for me to actually listen. I know who you are."
I started to get nervous. I said, "Who am I?"
"You were in here two weeks ago buying stuff for vacation Bible school. You gave me an invitation for my kids. God has been trying to get my attention for some time now."
I invited her to church this Sunday. Her name is Evelin.
Funny how being faithful to give testimony always seems to teach, reach, and change me as much or more than those listening or watching.
I think my spiritual and emotional purse got a dumping upside-down and shaking out of the lint and everything else that doesn't belong in there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Water, Water, everywhere and nowhere.....

All week we came to the water's edge and talked, sang, and learned about Jesus. 19 children raised their hand to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior! We also were excited to see 12 of those children come to the church service on Sunday morning! We are praising the Lord for a family that came because of contact during VBS! Pray for us as we follow-up on the new believers and welcome a new family into the fellowship.

On Saturday the youth group had a water balloon fight and Bible study.

Sunday was also extra special as Jessica Bustos Martinez was baptized! We spent the week talking to the children about coming to the water's edge and ended the week with Jessica giving testimony before God, her husband, family and the Church of her faith in Christ.

A week full of water! Except at our house. We have been without water since last Wednesday! The last few days of VBS it was hard to come home hot and sweaty knowing that a bucket was waiting instead of a shower. The clincher has been that as we drove up to the house, itwas pouring rain outside. I know put out a barrel right? Nah. I live in one of the most polluted cities in the world! The rainwater leaves clothes left on the clothesline beige. Please pray as we are getting a little testy about half a bucket of water bathes!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Our ocean is filling up...

I know we are no where near an ocean. But we have invited the kids of Las Trojes and Santa Elena to come to the waters edge (Beach!) God blessed us with 60 kids at our second day of VBS today. Yesterday there were 35! At this rate we will hit our goal of 100 kids!
Thanks for your prayers! I will try to post some pictures today later or tomorrow.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Just what I needed....

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”- Isaiah 41:10

This verse was in my devotions this morning and later in the day someone sent it in an email. I was feeling very overwhelmed with VBS stuff. It was just what I needed to be reminded!

Friday, July 18, 2008

So many things to little time!

VBS starts in 3 days! We did all the scenery painting yesterday. We had puppet practice with ALL the puppeteers present! We prepared one of the crafts. We had fun laughing and talking, and painting each other...I mean the posters! We are all so excited and ready to begin. I am going to list the names of everyone involved so you can pray for them starting today through the closing on Sunday, July 27.






Cirenia y Abril
Misael Eden



Monday, July 14, 2008

I copied a picture....

from one of the M2M team members webpage. It is of one of my favorite people right now. His name is Carlos.

He has had me laughing since the day I met him. Antonio gave him one of the soccer balls the M2M team left behind. (By the way he looks for you all in every room when he comes to church) His mom Sirenia says, "He pretty much lives with that ball! About the only place he doesn't take it is to church. And that's cuz we pry it out of his grip or he would be kicking goals down the center aisle into the pulpit!"

Yesterday Carlos had a 50 cent coin to put in the offering plate. He came marching across the church to TJ and asked for a tithe envelope and had to have his name written on it too! When asked what the money was for, he pointed to the offering bag and said "Iglesia Nueva (New Church)!" Apparently everyone at his house has a jar that they are trying to save money in for construction of a bigger building. He understood and had the coin in his pocket all week. Everytime someone tried to take he would scream and holler till they gave it back. For me it is so exciting to see mexican children being raised in the church. Alot of adults are so hard to the Gospel, we have a whole generation growing up into the truth. Please pray for Carlos, his brother and sister Dany and Anai, and their parents Sirenia and Juan.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The sun is shining....

After I think monthes of cloudy rainy days....okay I'm exaggerating but it has been at least 2 weeks! I opened all the blinds to try and warm up my "concrete walled, tile-floored in a breezy area" house.

My belated birthday was extended to two days due to a rainstorm and subsequent traffic jam. The baked potatoe and rib-eye on the grill was DELICIOUS! My hubby bought a turtle sundae cheesecake for dessert! (If you know him, you know that was more for him than me!) Yesterday I just lazed around and worked on stuff for VBS. Our theme is "Come to the Beach!" All the stories have to do with water! I am excited. Too bad we can't take everyone to the beach! Oh yeah imagine me on the beach with at least 100 kids! I would tie a life perserver to each one and head for a palapa to have a virgin piña colada with my hubby fanning mind wandered a little there. Back to reality! Tonight we have a prayer vigil at the church. Tomorrow afternoon is puppet practice for VBS and Youth group in the evening.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to me...

No I am not so desperate that I sing to myself! My birthday was in June but we were really busy so I asked everyone (my family) if we could wait till after the M2M team was here to celebrate. is the day! I am 46! Wow four more years and I will be half of a century old!
I am going to get groceries this morning and then it is off to the movies and to Starbucks. Oh and we are going to splurge and by a big steak at Costco to do on the grill with baked potatoes and salad! To finish the day off we are going to play Scrabble as a family tonight after dinner. Oh yeah I just showed my age right!

Monday, July 7, 2008

What should I do today....

After weeks of setting things up and planning for the M2M team, I am sort of lost this morning. I don't HAVE to be anywhere or DO anything! Well I have a house to clean and need to concentrate on VBS preparations but....I think a cup of coffee sitting in front of the computer and trying to pen a few thoughts about this past week is in order.

First of all, I want to thank Emmanuel Baptist Church for sending a group of flexible and gracious young people to minister with us.

Second, I send a hug to the team and again say thank for your willingness to leave home and your comfort zones and step out on the frontlines of foreign missions. You were rained on more times than I care to count. You crammed into rooms and vans and I did not hear a complaint even once. You ate real Mexican food four of the days you were here! You painted the church inside and out. You drew VBS scenery. You handed out 1500 invitations to Iglesia Bautista de las Trojes. You did mimes and sang. But most of all, you renewed me and my family's vision for ministry in Las Trojes. To stand in front of you and say, "We are tired or frustrated, just could not be done. So I personally just smiled and instead said, "Okay Lord, what will you do this week?"

Here's what He did through you and your testimony this week!

-Adults are saying, "We should have been the ones painting this building!"

-Benito returned to church.

-Sarai had her quinceaños and rededicated her life to God.

-The youth of our church are disappointed and ashamed that their mission trip planned for August was cancelled. None of them had shown interest and had not saved the money to go. Now they are saying can we do it during Christmas break? That will give us time to save money, learn skits and collect Bibles and tracts to take along.

-Two new families brought their kids to Kids Club on Friday due to the info you passed out.

-Sirenia is sharing with her neighbors about Christ and has even told her very Catholic mother she was saved in April and is going to a Baptist church.

-Many of the families in the church are just renewed and excited to continue what you started.

-Ladies meeting was small in number the Saturday you left, but huge in the excitement and plans for evangelizing the women of Las Trojes. Miriam said, "If they can come here, and be rained on for 7 days and still be smiling and ready to go out again, and cry like babies saying Good-bye.....than we can step out our front gate and talk to our neighbors! I am a little bit ashamed that it took a group a kids to show me what I could so easily be doing."

-If you know me at all, you know that I am a mover and a pusher to get things done. This week God made me sit back and be on the edge of things. At times I was a like a race horse biting the bit at the gate but...I got to see some people step up and do the job! So this pusher is pulling back and letting the others go forward. I look forward to seeing all that God will do in the coming days!

God also showed his love for us in a ways not connected to your visit.

-On Saturday morning I got a phone call that Antonio's nephew had been run over by a car! He is doing okay now, but his skull was fractured and it was scary for few days.

-Teammate Bethany Dean moved in the middle of your visit. Things kept falling apart for setting up her moving crew. We were feeling so bad at not being able to be there to help her, but God provided other Mexican friends to do the job and she also saw how God provides the help we need in surprising ways.

-Teammates Ron and Zina Allen are on a summer-long furlough. Ron's brother Donny had emergency heart surgery. They "just happened to be near by" and could be with family through the touch and go of the whole thing. No, I do not think it was a coincidence! I know that God put them there!

I only pray that each of the M2M team members saw God working in and through them. I pray of course for the seeds they planted in the hearts of the Mexican people. Yet I almost pray more for the seeds planted in the M2M team's hearts for missions and for simply living each day to the glory of God!